Skin Care

Best Facial Cleanser to Maintain a Soft, Healthy Skin



by Lydia


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For a long time, the face is how we present ourselves to the world. When we take care of our skin, we feel good, and in turn, make those around us feel good too. Unfortunately, the face has the most sensitive skin compared to other body parts. For this reason, you need the best facial cleanser as part of your skincare routine for a healthy and smooth face.

What is a Facial Cleanser?

A facial cleanser is a skincare product used to eliminate any pollutants from the skin that may cause unpleasant side effects. Oil, dirt, dead skin cells, clogged pores, and even makeup should be removed from the face often to maintain healthy skin. Some skin types demand the use of facial cleansers as frequently as possible. For example, an acne-prone or oily skin type needs more attention with consideration to the skin's sensitivity.

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Best Facial Cleanser - Reviews

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If you have sensitive skin, CeraVe is your best bet for the best skincare routine. The non-foaming face wash has a combination of ingredients that will leave your skin feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. The cleanser does a good job of getting rid of toxins that might be detrimental to acne-prone skin. In addition, the face wash has hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides that give the best care to dry skin.

CeraVe is a non-foaming cleanser with a lotion-like consistency that will not leave your skin feeling tight. In addition, the cleanser is fragrance-free and will not cause any infections on your skin after use. Instead, CeRave will gently exfoliate the skin, removing the unwanted dirt while keeping the integrity of the skin barrier.


  • Paraben-free
  • Non-drying
  • Non-irritating
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-foaming
  • Sooth on skin
  • Use the cleanser both at night and in the morning


  • Can irritate the eyes

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Cetaphil is the cleanser to beat them all. From acne-prone skin to sensitive skin, the cleanser does a good job of getting rid of toxins while keeping the skin soft and protected at all times. Cetaphil is pH balanced, with a fragrance-free formula that is hypoallergenic to sensitive skin. The creamy cleanser is non-foaming and gently removes impurities through cellar technology that lifts away pollutants without the need for excessive rubbing or scrubbing.

Cetaphil is a dermatologist recommended for sensitive skin and all other skin types that may require special attention. The non-foaming face wash is a gentle cleanser that protects the skin's natural barrier. Cetaphil is the best clinically tested cleanser.


  • Gentle
  • Use with or without water
  • Designed for sensitive skin
  • Gets rid of dark spots
  • Alleviates dryness


  • Not good for healing new tattoos

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Dove beauty cleansing bar is an option for a consistent skin-care routine. This face wash effectively moisturizes the skin, whether on the face or the entire body. In addition, this bar cleanses gently and is still effective in removing bacteria without any allergic reactions to sensitive skin. Besides being hypoallergenic, this bar is fragrance-free for safe application on sensitive skin.

Moreover, the Dove cleansing bar helps maintain a moisturized skin barrier while providing nourishment for restoring the natural skin balance. During use, this face wash provides a luxurious feel without drying your skin. In the end, due to its gentle cleansing, this bar is suitable for a daily routine.


  • Compatible with sensitive skin
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Applied on the whole body
  •  Effective in cleansing and moisturizing


  • Not portable

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Are you on a tight budget, and do you desire an effective face wash? Try the Vanicream Gentle Cleanser, and you won't regret it. Ideally, this face wash removes excess oil, dirt and makeup without irritating the skin. In particular, this face wash is free of sulfates, gluten, lanolin, fragrances, dyes, parabens and preservatives, making it safe to gently remove dirt from sensitive skin.

Additionally, this face wash doesn't cause blackheads and clog pores. Due to its natural and soap-free formulation, Vanicream is ideal for sensitive and acne-prone skin.


  • Compatible with sensitive skin
  • Affordable
  • Easy pump dispenser
  • Soothes skin 


  • Not cruelty-free

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The best anti-aging cleanser that will give a noticeable difference is here with us. InstaNatural is a remedy that treats patients who might have blemishes, dark spots, and breakouts. If you are worried about wrinkles, InstaNatural is your best bet for fighting off the dirt and bacteria that might cause harm to your skin. Face washes are more productive with the cleanser because of the outstanding results and good reviews.

InstaNatural is a natural cleanser that brightens the skin tone, correcting hyperpigmentation and evening out the skin tone. This natural face wash uses its green tea extract components to fight acne. Green tea in a face wash also balances the skin's oil production. In the end, fruit extracts and natural sources of Vitamin C are good for both men's and women's skin.


  • Anti-aging
  • Antioxidant protection
  • Even skin tone
  • Banish breakouts
  • Reduces fine lines
  • Prevent signs of aging
  • Green tea extract


  • Follow-up routine needed after cleansing.

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Neutrogena is an all-in-one facial cleanser and makeup remover that ensures the skin stays healthy at all times. The skincare product does not change the skin's pH balance, keeping the skin barrier safe and protected all night and day. In addition, this facial wash is soap-free and does not have any chemicals that might cause dryness or irritation of the skin.

Neutrogena has a gentle formula that will not sting the eyes or irritate the skin. As a result, anyone with sensitive eyes no longer has to worry about the product when cleansing. The brand is dermatologist-recommended and is a great option for sensitive skin.


  • Soap-free
  • Oil-free
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Safe for sensitive eyes
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Foaming

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La Roche-Posay has been recommended by 90,000 dermatologists worldwide, proof that the cleanser is the best choice for a facial cleanser. The cleanser has a soothing effect, unlike other cleansers, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and brilliant. In addition, the cleanser has prebiotic thermal water as part of the ingredients, mixed with niacinamide, ceramide-3, and glycerin to create a perfect combination for your skin.

La Roche-Posay is allergy tested and is safe for anyone prone to allergens. La Roche-Posay removes makeup, dirt, and pollutants without affecting the pH of the skin. The skin barrier retains its integrity and keeps the board-certified dermatologist standards for healthy, glowing skin.


  • Allergy tested
  • Recommended by dermatologists
  • Gentle cleanser
  • Highly effective
  • Creamy texture
  • Good for sensitive skin


  • Acrylates can cause allergies.

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We also recommend the COSRX Low pH Good Morning cleansing gel for a daily facial skincare routine. This face wash carries components such as tea tree oil extracts and salicylic acid for a gentle exfoliation that won't irritate your skin. Furthermore, this dermatologist-tested cleansing gel is hypoallergenic as well as free of sulfates, parabens, and Phthalates, making it safe for a sensitive skin type.

Also, this face wash works without stripping and still delivers a firm and strengthened skin barrier. You can use this face wash during the day and at night, leaving your skin silky at night for a restful sleep and luminous during the day.


  • Affordable
  • Suitable for a daily cleansing routine
  • Good for all skin types
  • pH-balanced to avoid skin sensitivities


  • Relatively small amount

Another exfoliating face wash suitable for a deep cleanse is the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Cleanser. From its title, this face wash works best with an acne-prone skin type, and this is supported by a gently-acting formula. In addition, Neutrogena is a salicylic acid cleanser with mild exfoliating acids that reach deep into the pores to gently exfoliate without causing breakouts.

Moreover, this oil-free face wash eliminates blackheads and rinses without irritating or over-drying the skin. Overall, as a safe product for daily use, this face wash is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn't clog pores post-cleansing.


  • Affordable
  • Gently exfoliates
  • Eliminates acne, blackheads and pimples
  • Doesn't clog pores


  • Contains fragrance
  • Not cruelty-free

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Lastly, we present the EltaMD Foaming Face wash, which works through amino acids and enzymes to rid the skin of impurities, excess oil and makeup. As one of the best foaming face washes, this cleanser works gently to restore the skin's natural balance. Additionally, this face wash restores the natural skin barrier through its amino acids for boosted protection against pollution.

Considering this face wash is sensitive-free and gentle in action, it is compatible with most, including combination skin types. Overall, this product removes makeup without clogging pores, leaving the skin feeling revamped and soothed.


  • Works gently
  • Sensitive-free
  • Doesn't clog pores
  • Restores skin's natural balance
  • Prevents skin breakouts


  • Poor consistency
  • Customer complains about incomplete bottle fills

Differentiating Cleansers and Facial Scrubs

Both cleansers/ face washes and facial scrubs work to clean the skin, but differently. To start with, a face wash or cleanser removes skin contaminants and is after that rinse. Traditionally, cleansers have been known to be non-foaming, but foaming cleansers have been developed over time, without any stripping features. Therefore, a cleanser can also be referred to as a face wash, considering it shouldn't be harsh to the skin.

Unlike face cleansers and face washes, facial scrubs don't remove impurities sitting deep in pores. Instead, scrubs contain small physical abrasions used to get rid of the dead skin cells. This cleaning mechanism is also a way of exfoliation which reveals the healthier and smooth skin lying underneath. Unlike face cleansers/washes, scrubs aren't recommended for sensitive and combination skin types since they may be too harsh.

Types of Facial Cleansers

  1. Gel Cleansers. This type comes in the consistency of a gel. Ideal, these face washes are suitable for oily and acne-prone skin regimes. Any gel face washer is characterized by deep exfoliation and cleansing properties. A gel cleanser can also come in the form of a jelly cleanser with a milky texture.
  2. Cream Cleansers. These face washes come in thick consistencies, which are very moisturizing. Cream cleansers work effectively and don't strip natural oils. Therefore, they are most suitable for dry, acne-prone, sensitive or acne-prone skin.
  3. Foam cleansers. These are lightweight skin-care cleaners with a foamy lather when pumped from a container. You can use any face wash in this category to remove excess skin oil, making these cleansers great for combination types of skin.
  4. Clay cleansers. These skin cleaners are made with clay varieties to help draw impurities and excess oil from the skin. They work best with a combination or oily skin type.
  5. Powder cleansers. Powder cleansers take the form of a dry powdery when in a package but creamy when mixed in water. They work as cleaners in the creamy texture and provide a gentle and mild exfoliation. Most significantly, this powder form maintains potency for longer periods than liquid forms and provides the most customization.
  6. Oil-based cleansers. Indeed, these cleansers effectively remove skin contaminants without causing drying. After use, oil-based cleansers are easily rinsed away, leaving the skin moisturized and soft in texture. We love oil cleansers since they work best with oily and dry skin types.
  7. Cleansing Balms. This type is another facial cleansing option that works with simple skin-care routines. Ideally, balms don't require water to remove makeup, dirt or oil. Cleansing balms are great alternatives for sensitive or dry skin since they don't contain harsh stripping ingredients and are super moisturizers. An example of the best cleansing balm is the BANILA CO NEW Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm.
  8. Cleansing bars. This type of cleanser is more sustainable since they are easy to use daily without forgetting. Luckily, cleansing bars aren't made with any soap and thus won't leave your skin dried out.
  9. Micellar Cleansers. These cleansers apply the technology of tiny oil molecules (micelles) suspended in water. Therefore, micellar cleansers are alcohol-free and gently remove oil, makeup and dirt. Micellar cleansers are compatible with all skin types, especially sensitive skin, and effectively tighten pores.
  10. Cleansing Wipes. Lastly, you use the convenient option of cleansing wipes to remove makeup. Despite being easy to carry, you will have to do a double cleanse for a follow-up face-wash to get rid of dirt and excess oils.

Facial Cleansing Benefits

As part of identifying the best facial cleanser, we aim to demystify the importance of facial cleansing. However, it is very unlikely to experience the good of cleansers if you choose the wrong cleansing products. Also, you shouldn't overdo cleansing such as doing a double cleanse to obtain quick results, since it may turn out counterproductive. As such, here are the benefits of cleansing your face:

  • Keeping your skin hydrated and soft
  • Removing dead skin cells
  • Stimulating blood flow on the face
  • Fighting symptoms of aging and achieving a youthful look
  • Enabling the deep penetration of other skin-care products
  • Eliminating uneven skin tone to restore a natural glow and texture
  • Fighting disease-causing micro-organisms


Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Facial Cleanser

1. Ingredients

Finding the best facial cleanser requires a conscious awareness of the ingredients at play. Naturally, this consideration works hand in hand with the skin type of the user in question. Primarily, all categories of facial cleansers should contain hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. On the other hand, you should be keen to avoid harsh cleansers.

Across all types of facial cleansers, it's essential to avoid those that are alkaline or soap-based since they can make your skin dry over time. Nonetheless, a face wash bar should not be confused with a soap-based cleanser. Also, moving from general to specific, not all face washes are ideal for sensitive skin, particularly those containing fragrances and sulfates. Alternatively, a normal skin type can do well with sodium Laureth sulfate, a gentler version of sodium lauryl sulfate.

Furthermore, quality cleansers come with exfoliating ingredients to get rid of dead skin cells, add some glow to your skin and improve blood circulation. Some of the known exfoliating ingredients include glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acids and salicylic acid. Such components paired with peach pits or microbeads will effectively exfoliate your skin and get rid of dead skin cells. However, even with such benefits of exfoliation, you should avoid doing a double cleanse to avoid making the process adverse.

In the process of exfoliating, it's also important to have a cleanser with antibacterial components. For example, a face wash with olive oil can be effective in killing acne-causing bacteria. Even more, it would be beneficial to get face washes/cleansers with components to improve your skin textures, such as grapeseed oil and almond oil.

2. Skin Types

Choosing the right ingredients subsequently leads you to the aspect of skin types. However, before we get to the appropriation of different cleansers to diverse skin regimes, let's identify the different skin categories. Accordingly, skin types are classified into five types as follows:

  • Normal Skin. This skin type isn't sensitive, dry or oily. People with normal skin have few skin imperfections and tiny pores.
  • Dry Skin. This skin type is characterized by less elasticity, red patches, more wrinkles, dull complexion, invisible pores and red patches.
  • Oily Skin. People with this skin type present skin imperfections like whiteheads, pimples, blackheads, large pores and a shiny complexion.
  • Combination Skin. This type features oily, dry and normal skin types on the same face but in different zones. For instance, a person with a combined regime will be oily around the T-zone (From forehead, down to the nose and chin) and dry on the other facial zones.
  • Sensitive Skin. This type reacts with environmental triggers and presents burning, itching, dryness, and redness symptoms.

Based on this understanding of skin types, we will go ahead and cover the appropriate cleanser formulas for each skin type.

  • Cleansers for normal skin. Products in this category should contain ingredients such as vitamin C, salicylic acid, retinol and hyaluronic acid. Such components work together to balance oil production, exfoliate and hydrate the skin.
  • Cleansers for dry skin. These cleansers have moisturization components such as hyaluronic acid, natural oils and lactic acid. As such, cleansers in this category should contain cleansing oil stimulants to facilitate the production of skin oil. However, a face wash in the category shouldn't contain oil-reducing components such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid. When it comes to consistencies, these cleansers have thicker consistencies, such as balms or creams.
  • Cleansers for oily skin. These products should primarily contain components to get rid of the excess oil while preventing breakouts such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid. If you prefer natural ingredients, you can go for a face wash with tea tree oil to help you dissolve oil and eliminate acne-causing bacteria. Also, foaming formulas are ideal for an oily skin type.
  • Cleansers for sensitive and combination skin. Ideally, any face wash in this category should be hypoallergenic, soap-free, fragrance-free and paraben-free to avoid any reactions. Nonetheless, people with sensitive or acne-prone skin should avoid any face wash with scrubbing elements to avoid tears and irritation. When it comes to exfoliation, these products should gently exfoliate using mild components such as alpha-hydroxy acids or natural ingredients such as cucumber. Overall, face washes for these types come as either a gel, lotion or jelly cleanser.

Frequently Asked Questions About Facial Cleansers

a) Do Facial Cleansers Prevent Acne?

The skin sheds dead cells, which collect on the surface of the skin. Skin cell residue on the skin's surface can lead to clogged-up pores, leading to whiteheads and blackheads. Facial cleaners do a good job of getting rid of any flaky residue from the skin by gently exfoliating dead cells without breaking the skin barrier. In addition, an excellent facial wash will make your skin soft and free from unwanted residue.

b) How Often Should I Cleanse?

Once you understand your skin type, it can be easy to know how often to use a facial cleanser. Different people have varying skin types, while others have combination skin. If you have been out all day and come home with oily skin, the best thing to do is cleanse to remove any excess oils. Your daily activities can be a factor when considering how often you should cleanse. For example, when you have been outdoors on a sunny day, you need to cleanse to remove dirt or sweat from the surface of your skin.

Face cleansers are made for frequent use. The cleansers remove excess oil and other residues without interfering with the facial pH. On the other hand, soap might have ingredients that cause drying to the skin. In addition, most soaps are perfumed, which is a bad combination for use as a skin-care regimen.

While it is better to cleanse your skin every night after the day is done, it is vital to remember that many toxins are removed through the skin at night when you sleep. Therefore, you should cleanse your skin in the morning as well. People with acne-prone skin tend to have oily skin. By the morning comes, the skin will have produced a lot of oil, leaving the skin feeling clogged up. In addition, some people sweat in their sleep. Sweat is a residue that you should remove from your skin.

c) Do Facial Cleansers Remove Makeup?

Cleansers can remove makeup. However, the best choice would be oil cleansers because makeup is primarily made of oils. Therefore, an oil-based cleanser would do a great job in removing makeup for oil-free results. Oil-based cleansers do a good job of getting rid of waterproof makeup that oil-free face washes will not remove. The oil will dissolve the makeup and make wiping it away easy and less messy. For example, cleansing oil will work well in removing cream-based makeup.

d) Should I Wash-Off Facial Cleanser after Use?

Cleanser gets rid of residue that might form on the skin surface. If you do not wash the cleanser off, the residue goes nowhere, except stay mixed with the cleanser but remain on your skin. The best thing to do is to gently wash off the cleanser to avoid getting dry skin due to the cleanser staying too long on your skin.

The maximum time the cleansing oil should stay on your skin is between 20-30 seconds. Then, gently wipe away the face cleanser after use to eliminate all the greasy residue from skin-care products or natural facial oil. Once you get the right cleanser from our top picks, you can be sure to maintain clean skin that is free of any toxins and dirt.

e) Can I use only Water to Wash My Skin?

Using water only would be a good idea. However, water might not do much for oily skin or combination skin that need an oil-based cleanser to dissolve the oils. Face wash requires a good understanding of your skin type to give the best care to leave your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Water alone without any additions will not do a good job in getting rid of makeup. Some makeups are waterproof, which removes water from the table. A face cleanser is more suited for removing makeup without leaving your skin dry. A good cleanser gently cleanses every residue, leaving clear skin without harming the skin barrier.

Tips On Using Faial Cleanser

i) Pull Back Your Hair

If you have hair, tie it back or wear a headwrap or a shower cap to keep the hair from getting into contact with the cleanser. Remember that some cleansers remove oil-based products, and that might include the ones you use on your hair as well. The skin just below your hairline needs to be taken care of as well. This is a very sensitive part since it is the part on our face that comes into contact with hair and face products. Therefore, the skin below the hairline needs the most cleansing to avoid acne foaming on the forehead.

ii) Clean Your Hands

One of how we transfer germs to our face is through our hands. Our hands come into contact with almost everything we interact with. From elevator buttons to our phones, which we rarely sanitize, germs always find their way to the hands. Those germs can include acne-causing bacteria. Clean your hands thoroughly anytime before touching your face to avoid any residue from transferring from your hands to your face.

iii) Wet Your Face

For the cleanser to take effect, you need to wet your face using warm water. Do not use extremely hot or cold water during this skin-care routine. Water helps the cleanser spread more evenly than it would on dry skin.

iv) Apply Cleanser

Pick any of our recommended cleansers for your skincare routine. Apply the gentle skin cleanser onto your hands, then to your face. Next, apply the creamy cleanser or the gel cleanser evenly on your face. Do not forget your hairline or your jawline, as those are parts of your face as well. The cleansing oil should not get in contact with your mouth or eyes as this might irritate you. Do not use too much cleanser at any one time.

v) Gently Massage

Using small, circular motions, massage the face and the neck area gently and consistently using your fingers. You need to read the instructions on the user guide provided in the product description for the best outcome.

vi) Rinse

Once you massage your face, rinse off with warm water using your hands or a washcloth. Avoid using hot water as very hot water may cause dry skin and irritation.

vii) Pat Your Face

Once you are done rinsing off, use a towel to pat your skin when getting rid of the extra moisture. Avoid wiping down your face as that might irritate your skin.

viii) Skincare Routine

Once you are done cleansing your face, it is time to fall back into your skincare routine. The exfoliating face wash creates space for other products as your skin will be clean and ready.


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